Rick Hodges, executive director of the Ohio Turnpike Commission, said the fate of the Ohio Turnpike service plaza sites near Swanton will be decided in 2014.
The two plazas, Fallen Timbers and Oak Openings, were the last service plazas that dated back to the toll road opening in 1955.
They were closed Dec. 1, 2011, and torn down due to the age and condition of the buildings, requirements to clean up the site after decades of operations as a fueling station, and an outdated physical plant.
Air And Microbes
Hodges said currently, the soil on the site is going through a bioremediation process.
Air is blown through the contaminated soil, and microbes consume the contaminated material in the soil. It takes two years to complete the process.
Hodges said it’s a much less expensive process than hauling contaminated soil away to a special landfill, then obtaining new “clean” dirt to fill the site.
In 2014, the progress of the remediation process will be reviewed, he said.
Late in 2013, Hodges said the two service plaza sites will be evaluated based on traffic patterns, needs of travelers, and whether or not venders “immediately off the pike” can service turnpike customers.
He said constructing a pair of service plazas costs $30 million to $35 million.
When the plazas were originally closed in 2011, it was announced they would be rebuilt in 2014.